Green products in public kitchens and private restaurants in Denmark

29 Jun 2020

A joint proposal for the next Denmark Climate Plan was launched. Denmark’s national climate goal is one of the most ambitious in the world: a reduction in climate emissions by 70% by 2030.

On May 23, a broad alliance of Danish trade unions, educational and advisory institutions and business organizations representing thousands of farmers, restaurants and food companies launched a joint proposal for the next Denmark Climate Plan. Denmark’s national climate goal is one of the most ambitious in the world: a reduction in climate emissions by 70% by 2030.

The coalition proposed scaling up successful efforts in Denmark with a conversion to healthier, climate-friendly and eco-friendly meals in public kitchens. Thousands of schools, hospitals, kindergartens, residences, ministries and even military barracks across Denmark have transformed meals and food preparation so that meals are richer in plants, with less meat, more seasonal produce and much less waste of foods.

The savings (generated by reducing waste and reducing meat consumption) have served to pay for organic food, allowing 60% organic product in public meals, within the same operating budgets. In Copenhagen 86% of public institutions are committed to the ecological.

The Danish model was a key case in October when climate leaders from many of the world’s largest cities signed the declaration Cities of Good Food: Achieve a Planetary Health Diet for All at the C40 Mayors Climate Summit in Copenhagen. They will work for healthy, climate-friendly and ecological food. Along with other strong green policies, the Danish conversion of public kitchens was also recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Future Council and IFOAM – Organics International with a Policy Award. Futura in 2018.

The Danish model has changed the food that municipalities buy and has transformed the way dishes are prepared. It is a holistic approach, addressing multiple interconnected sustainability challenges by implementing ‘the whole package’ with less waste and more plant-rich meals based primarily on food from organic farms. It is a solution with unusually broad sustainability benefits for climate, biodiversity, drinking water quality and health. The research also documents new pride, motivation, increased job satisfaction, and decreased sick leave among kitchen workers. Makes sense. Driving positive change with your own hands and crafts is rewarding!

The Danish model, and the drive to improve it, is a strong example of positive interaction between ambitious and transformative government policy frameworks, on the one hand, and the simultaneous mobilization of the food sector and NGOs on the other. For less than 2 euros per citizen per year, it includes:

  • Clear national and municipal objectives. A 60% goal for organic food in all public kitchens, which will increase to 90% in 2030.

  • Funding for the education of kitchen workers.

  • Green kitchen labels to document green conversion, a model highlighted by One Planet Network, the UN center for SDG 12 (sustainable production and consumption). A new proposal would include climate emissions from buying food as part of the label.

  • Innovative and sustainable public procurement policy that requires ecological and climate-friendly food.

  • Mobile consulting teams that help cities, restaurants and hospitals plan and drive conversion.

  • Green schools introducing sustainable practices for food service industry leadership and employees. Collaboration in the supply chain that unites farmers and companies to guarantee the supply of organic food.

The new proposal will also extend sustainability efforts to Denmark’s private professional kitchens: restaurants, coffee shops and coffee shops in the workplace. The pioneers have already gone green and climate-friendly in Michelin restaurants, hotels and dining rooms.

Finally, the proposal will use public and private professional kitchens as a main platform to encourage Danes to adopt a greener plant-based diet at home, with much less food waste. The idea is that having positive experiences with tasty and more plant-based food in restaurants and at work will help normalize climate-friendly meals for Danes.

Going one step further, public cafeterias, restaurants and hotels can motivate consumers to adopt new habits by informing them about the organic food served and offering simple advice on what consumers can do at home.

The model was recently promoted by three of the Danish government’s climate partnerships with the business community and by a statement from 17 Danish NGOs under the title ‘Fair and green restart (of the economy)’. We can hope that the new EU Farm-to-Fork strategy can promote similar efforts throughout the European Union. One thing is for sure: we have a team of experienced Danish policy and meal conversion experts who can help in every corner of the world!

Source: Bio Eco Actual